The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Gen. 49:10
A loyal band of baptized believers took an old wooden-framed house and molded its tattered walls, barren floors, boarded windows, planked ceilings, and make-shift steeples
into a church.
In the year of our Lord 1888, the devoted Baptist Minister Rev. Sam Byrd and a loyal, dedicated band of baptized believers came to a destined site, Albany, Georgia, on a divine mission with a vision. The Minister and his loyal band of baptized believers took an old wooden-frame house at 325 Whitney Avenue and molded its tattered walls, barren floors, boarded windows, planked ceilings, and makeshift steeples into a church, a church called Shiloh Baptist Church. By the warmness of God Almighty, love, and an old wood burning pot belly stove, Shiloh Baptist Church became a burning testament that “JESUS IS A SOLID ROCK,” and thus changed the spiritual heritage of this Southwest Georgia community.
The courageous and determined Reverend Byrd served the Shiloh Baptist Church and his faithful followers for twenty-six years until his death in 1914. After Rev. Byrd’s death, Shiloh began a rare pastoral record that included six Pastors: Rev. G.W. Irwin (1914-1936); Rev. E.R. Searcy, Sr. (1937-1948); Rev. L.J. Alford (1948-50); Rev. W.H. Calhoun (1951-56); Rev. T.J. Blue (1956-1958); and Rev. H.C. Boyd (1959-2016).
On February 19, 1940, a devastating tornado destroyed the church building, but not the resilient Church. Services were held at Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church and Simpson Hall until the structure was rebuilt. God so richly blessed Shiloh during this period that by 1948, the church was debt-free.
Each of the previous pastors helped Shiloh move forward. Under the leadership of Rev. H. C. Boyd, Shiloh grew substantially. Internally, Shiloh purchased property for parking, erected an educational building, purchased vans for use by its members and completed several major renovation projects. With crime on the rise, a church security team was established. The Incorporation of the Church was a great milestone.
Shiloh and its visionary pastor provided inspiring service to the community and spiritual guidance to members and friends. During the 1960s, Shiloh played an active role in the Albany Civil Rights Movement. It was “The Church” where the majority of the Civil Rights programs were held. Reverend Boyd took a primary leadership role in these programs. Shiloh’s contributions were so significant that it gained recognition in the historical documentary "Eyes on the Prize”. In 2014 The Georgia Historical Society and The Albany Civil Rights Institute sponsored an unveiling of a Historic Civil Rights marker that was erected in front of the church.
In June 2016, The Shiloh Family experienced a great loss with the passing of its leader who served for 57 (fifty-seven) years, Rev. H.C. Boyd. His leadership was well documented in the greater Albany Community. His passing left a physical, spiritual, and emotional void; but true to its faith, courage, and spirit, Shiloh members implemented plans to search for a new Pastor.
In September 2016, after a pastoral search, Rev. Charles E. Burney was given the assignment as interim pastor and later pastor. Rev. Burney served as the eighth Pastor through July 30, 2017.
In May 2018 Shiloh elected Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr, the renowned former pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Newark, New Jersey (Retired) to serve as Interim Pastor and was later to serve as Senior Pastor by the congregation on October 15, 2018. Official Installation Services were held January 13, 2019.
Shiloh continues to spread the word of a risen savior on the corner of Whitney and Jefferson. Through God’s grace and mercy, Shiloh will continue to be that church on the corner shining brightly and serving the city of Albany, the state of Georgia, and the World for generations to come.